While 2020 and 2021 saw explosive growth in startup valuations and total money raised by early-stage companies, 2022 has been referred to as the beginning of the funding winter.

This held true mostly across the board, as while some sectors performed relatively better than others, there weren’t any that actually increased.

However, among those relative winners, there exists a group that, while historically criminally underfunded, saw a smaller drop off in 2022.

And based on the numbers, if investors and venture capitalists (VCs) were smart, they would never let them go underfunded again.

We’re talking about women founders.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take some time to highlight the disproportionate levels of funding – and, frankly, success – among startups led by women.

In 2022, while the world of startups saw a 40% decrease in the amount of money raised, businesses founded by women saw just a 14% fall.

Of course, it would be disingenuous to suggest this is a victory. Last year, that pool of money reserved for female founders still only represented 2.1% of all investments.

Taking things one step further, the average individual raise for female founders pales in comparison to their male counterparts. Women-founded companies, on average, raised $935,000 while men-founded ones raised an average of $2.1 million.

This information is all the more frustrating for women when they point out the fact that their companies have performed better – substantially so.

Startups founded by women have generated 10% more revenue than those founded by men, and for investors, women-led companies have returned 78 cents on the dollar compared to just 31 cents for men.

There’s still a lot of work to be done to even the scales here, but at least the VC landscape appears to be attempting to take things to an equitable level. There have been a number of women-led funds and incubators created in 2022 with a specific focus on funding female founders.

So, allow this to serve as a reminder that when evaluating startups, the composition of the founding team matters in more ways than one.

International Women’s Day or not, the results speak for themselves.

The A+E Network Deal Research Team